Despite taking place on an evening with significant severe weather, a Ukraine benefit concert at St. Andrew United Methodist Church on March 21 managed to raise $57,137. All that money will go to UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, which is actively serving internally displaced people and refugees within and from Ukraine with food, water, shelter, and other needs.
“It has been said, ‘when words fail, music speaks,’ and this conflict in Ukraine has us all speechless,” church music director Taylor Davis said. “My involuntary response, as director of music, is to gather musician friends and create unity and peace through art. Individually, we can’t change the world, but music can help change the molecules in the room, which can change hearts and minds across lines of division.”
It was Davis who reached out to some of his contacts to see if any benefits of this nature had been planned. When he learned that there had not been any so far, he quickly got to work and managed to put the event together in about two weeks.
The concert featured songs of solidarity from orchestral musicians across the area, including members of the Dallas and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras, as well as St. Andrew’s Chancel Choir.
Davis says that the musicians who performed were passionate about the cause and excited to be a part of the program.
“One of our musicians, Ordabek Duissen, concertmaster, violin I, of the Fort Worth Symphony, had a personal connection to the war, expressing that he was concerned for his family living in Kazakhstan because he felt if the invasion progresses, his country would be the type of country that would be pursued,” Davis said. “It was powerful to see the event come together so quickly with each talented musician and our choir uniting to share their gifts to make an impact.”
The concert began with an orchestral performance of “The Great Gate of Kiev.” Other performances included selections from Dmitri Shostakovich, Myroslav Skoryk, John Williams and John Rutter. There were also poetry readings and a prayer led by Rev. Kim Meyers for the children affected by the crisis.
Fox 4 “Good Day” host Lauren Przybyl emceed the event. She praised the community’s generosity and said she was honored to host an event that helped a good cause and created beauty in the shadow of war.